This weekend, the 2011 Major League Soccer Desert Cup featuring the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City will be the most important professional soccer event in Tucson’s history. This two-day event, March 4-5 at Hi Corbett Field, marks the first time MLS teams have ever played in the Old Pueblo. It also marks the home debut of FC Tucson, the city’s new semi-pro team featuring local talent with diverse and unique stories.

Over the two days, two of the nation’s premier soccer teams will square off against each other as well as challenge local Arizona clubs FC Tucson and the Phoenix Sahuaros.

The MLS team’s rosters are replete with international stars, including Thierry Henry, star of the French National team and striker for Arsenal in the English Premier League; Omar Bravo, hero of Chivas in the Mexican League, and defender Rafael Marquez, captain of the Mexican National squad and Barcelona FC in Spain’s Premier Soccer League.

Games start at 6 and 8 p.m. on both Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5. Hi Corbett Field, the past spring training home of the Colorado Rockies, has now been filled in with 10,000 square feet of sod to accommodate a soccer game of this magnitude.

This unique event also provides an exceptional opportunity for demonstrating Tucson’s support of Major League Soccer, a growing professional sports organization.

Tickets cost $12 for general admission and $45 for VIP admission. To purchase tickets, visit or call 334-1115.

The Desert Cup is hosted by FC Tucson Events, in collaboration with local leaders, The Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitor Bureau, and other community partners.

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